Although the official countdown marking the end of 2015 has not yet begun, names scholars have already made predictions about what will be the most popular baby names for 2016.
According to a November 2015 issues of the magazine “Good Housekeeping”, the following names will make the top ten US list in the new year:
By comparison, based on statistics kept by the Baby Center UK, the November 5th issue of The Huffington Post has placed its bets on a completely different set of personal names:
Official name popularity statistics will be released in the new year.
Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. This recent column explores the names from Star Wars.… Read More
The Linguistics Beyond Academia Special Interest Group (SIG) is pleased to announce its activities at the 2016 LSA Annual Meeting in Washington DC:
- Salon: Friday, 3:30-5 pm, January 8th
- Linguistics Career Mixer: Saturday, 3:30-5 pm, January 9th
The salon is a chance for linguists working outside of academia to get together in a relaxed atmosphere to share experiences, resources, and tell the story of the transition from the university to the business world.… Read More
For the first time in its history, the Oxford Dictionaries have chosen a modern day pictograph, or emoji, for the Word of the Year. After analyzing the statistical data provided by the mobile technology company, Swiftkey, the Oxford University Press determined that one emoji in particular had an astounding frequency of usage. Making up 20% of all emoji-use in the UK and 17% in the USA, the little round smiley with the tiny blue tear-drops has become one of the one most beloved emoticons. That means that nearly one in four readers of this post have used this little figure in at least one of their e-communications. Officially, this emoticon is called “Face with Tears of Joy”. Curious what the proper names are for the other emojis in the smiley family? Test your onomastic emoji knowledge.
Through the year, ANS has linked to multiple news articles criticizing Facebook’s real name policy. Instead of changing the policy, Facebook is implementing a new system for reporting and responding to these real name concerns. The new system is intended to help the minority groups who have been discriminated against through this policy.… Read More
Fans everywhere are excited about the recently released Star Wars movie! With this long-awaited cinematic moment, names enthusiasts will be able to feast upon the ever-growing set of charactonyms. Alongside the now legendary names of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and R2-D2, there is Maz Kanata, Kylo Ren, and BB-8. For all those out there who want to test their intergalactic prowess, check out this cornucopia of Star Wars name games.
In recent months, the Union of European Football Associations or UEFA has made international headlines thanks to continuing scandals about secret bank accounts, mysterious money transfers, and insider trading. While efforts continue to get to the bottom of this seemingly endless quagmire, plans are well underway for the UEFA Euro games to be held in 2016 in France.
As a part of the planned festivities, the UEFA organizational team asked names and sports enthusiasts to name the new soccer/football mascot. Voters were asked to select one of three different names for the adorable brown-eyed superhero cloaked in red, white, and blue: Driblou, Goalix, or Super Victor. After all of the votes were counted, a clear onomastic winner emerged. Out of the more than 100,000 votes received, the name Super Victor was chosen by an impressive 48% of voters.
The decorating magazine House Beautiful is running a naming contest: Readers are encouraged to send in their onomastic nominees for a color featured in the November/December issue of the magazine. The names will be judged on the basis of originality and creativity. The winner will receive a cash prize in addition to the honor of naming the new hue. Submit your name suggestions by the 3rd of January 2016.
One of the most daunting tasks of marketing a product is deciding on its name. A product name should both spark interest and inspire trust. Additionally, in today’s globalized market, product names also need cross-cultural appeal. In the attempt to strike this commercial-cultural balance, more than one company has fallen flat.
For example, two product names which might give some North American buyers reason to pause are (1) Pee, the moniker of a cola from Ghana and (2) Barf, a popular detergent from Iran.
While some company executives spend millions each year to avoid such potential onomastic gaffs, others have made humorous naming a part of their marketing mystique. IKEA, for example, has become famous for giving its products quirky, chuckle-inspiring names. In fact, the company has developed a strict internal onomastic system for naming all of its products:
- Fabrics are given female personal names.
- Chairs and desks male personal names.
- Bathroom articles are named after Scandinavian lakes, rivers, and bays (hodonyms).
- Carpets are named after Danish places (toponyms).
According to Business Insider, the name IKEA is an acronym based on the founder’s name (Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd) and the name of a Swedish village outside of his hometown (Agunnaryd).
Thanks to its ignominious usage by law enforcement agencies beset with charges of prejudice inspired brutality against the civilian population, tasers have become a stable part of the US American lexicon. The weapon was originally designed to be a comparatively safe yet effective method of controlling suspects. However, the origin of this device’s name is also stepped in racist ideology.
As revealed in a November 2015 issue of the Guardian, Jack Cover, the physicist-inventor of the infamous stun gun, named his martial brain-child after a fictional weapon described in the book, Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle. Released in 1911, the novel tells the story of White hunter who, armed with an electric rifle, travels to Africa in search of ivory. The name TASER is an acronym composed of the first letters in the phrase: Tom A Swift’s Electric Rifle. As Guardian author J. Lartey muses, it is more than a little unsettling that this popular weapon was “first imagined in a book in which ‘civilized’ whites entered the black wilds for the purpose of plunder, only to cast themselves as the saviors of the natives.”